Casey Stoner has hinted that his former team Ducati’s problems may not rest with the bike but rather with Valentino Rossi
Having lost out to team-mate Nicky Hayden at the season-opening Qatar MotoGP race, it was more of the same in Jerez on Saturday where Hayden qualified P3 and Rossi P13.
It was the latest episode in a long line of disappointments for the seven-time MotoGP Champion, who has criticised Ducati for not listening to him in the pre-season and failing to deliver a bike capable of fighting at the front.
But, according to Honda rider Stoner, the problem may not be the bike.
“I spoke with Nicky the other day,” Stoner told crash.net. “He said he’s really happy with the bike, and it’s probably the best (Ducati) he’s ridden.
“He seems really confident with it but from the other side of the garage you hear the complete opposite.”
“You can be a certain amount of time off, for a certain time, but not this much. Nicky is doing a great job with it at the moment and every test he’s been to he’s been doing a good job, so I don’t think they’re too far off the pace.”
He added: “Last year I don’t think there was too many problems. They started out the season more competitive. It’s really complicated to understand.
“We can see it’s not completely the bike because Nicky is getting good results and he is more and more happy with it.”